Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A01P01So Apple flaunted it’s Playskool iOS 7 interface to the world at WWDC along with the a slew of new features to the silence of most who cared.  Yes, the first few rows applauded and cheered but those were Apple employees and board members. They’re delusional. While I have already discussed the problems with the update that really isn’t more than a slap in the face to those that love a good and useful user interface as well as desire envelope pushing from Cupertino, I neglected to touch on two important items.  The Big Missing Features. Did you read all the Tweets about the lack of Widgets?  Or the Facebook posts that there is no Active Icons?  There’s a reason for that and I’ll tell you what that is.

First, I do have to touch on the irony about the icons.  For years, Apple plastered a 73 on its Weather icon which was meaningless.  Then it finally updates its old and tired looking home screen with kids Crayola art and even gives us a ticking clock icon…but yanks the number from the Weather icon instead of actually adding the current locations temperature!  What immense irony that is.  Ya, I know, Android has been doing this for years but Apple doesn’t care what user want.  Have you seen iOS 7?

So what is an Active Icon you ask?  This is where the icon actually takes on some life, such as the weather example.  In a sense, Apple does have some activity on icons such as Message, Mail, and Phone with the number badge.  However, being able to simply look at the Weather icon and immediately see some clouds over the sun and 78 for the temperature beats tapping the icon and waiting for the app to refresh for the same bit of information.  For some reason, Apple doesn’t get that.

The most blatant omission from iOS 7 are Widgets.  Widgets are objects found on the home or lock screen that give you access to an application; however, these widgets also tap into the app with information such as a blip of emails, some posts in Facebook, or trending tweet,s and oh yes, some weather, too.  Widgets basically make your smartphone, well, smarter.  If you’re curious what your missing, take a look at TechRepublic’s 15 Android widgets that will make iPhone users jealous.  Again, Apple doesn’t get it.

Why?  The home screen is the first thing a person sees of a phone. With the two-to-one margins of Android to iPhones in the wild, most are familiar with the Android screen.  So, imagine – even with the hideous child’s play art – Apple placing widgets in iOS 7.  What would be the first response from users? “Oh, it looks just like the Androids screen.”  Can you envision what that would do to Apple’s pride?  Sure, 99% of iOS 7 is already Android features but the average user doesn’t know that but the Widgets are immediately identifiable to Android even to the casual user.  If customers uttered the comparison to Apple’s mobile rival, I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs would jump out of the grave and strangle that person!

Sadly, Apple has built this self-loving empire of pride, just look how long CEO Cook spent on the stupid pie chart of how many Android users were still using an operating system from 2010.  Apple is repeating the same ills it did with the original Macintosh and it is headed down the same road of bad fate.  While the rivals have taken Apple’s incredible idea and pushed it to its limits, Apple simply keeps telling the world, “Look how cool we are!”  Eventually, even the clueless consumer grows tired of this and sees that competition really does have more to offer.  Apple has decided for the third straight year to offer the public nothing substantial in the next iPhone operating system and this long-time Apple fan is already looking to move from iTunes Match to Google Play. I’m tired of living in Androids past. Good luck, Apple.  You’ll need it with your current corporate strategy.

The Android onslaught will continue and it will do so with low-cost smartphones says the latest In-Stat report. While rumors proceed Steve Jobs autobiography of his betrayed feelings of Google’s Eric Schmidt concerning Android, it looks like there really is little to stop it from conquering the world. Either Apple needs to continue its innovation or kill Android.

View Press Release »

In many parts of the world, the typical Android smartphone, selling for $400 to $500, is out of reach for many consumers that currently have a feature phone or perhaps no phone at all. These potential smartphone owners currently only have one OS choice in the low-cost category, (under-$150) and that is Android. New In-Stat (www.in-stat.com) research forecasts that unit shipments for low-cost Android smartphones will approach 340 million worldwide in 2015.

“The low-cost Android handset segment will cause some fragmentation in the Android platform,” says Allen Nogee, Research Director. “Most low-cost Android smartphones are likely to be released with Android 2.2 or 2.3, since these versions are a good blend of features with modest memory and processor usage. The Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) step-up in memory and processor demands makes this release less attractive for low-cost Android devices.”

Recent In-Stat research found:
The low-cost smartphone area is Android’s to lose. This market could get much more competitive, especially as other OS vendors begin to target the space.
The low-end low-cost smartphones generally stick with EDGE and processors running at 600MHz speeds or less, and a single-core EDGE chip sells for well under $10. For our purposes, low-cost means smartphones that are $150 or less.
Smaller phone manufacturers will sometimes purchase from the “gray market” where component manufacturers typically don’t pay licensee fees, royalties, and taxes for the products they produce.
Early competitors in the market include Huawei, MicroMax, Motorola, Samsung, Spice, and ZTE.
Recent In-Stat research Less is More: The Worldwide Emergence of Low-Cost Android Smartphones (#IN1104911WH)looks at the history of the low-cost smartphone market, and how we got where we are today. The report looks at Android in-depth and the problems that Google faces as it moves into the low-cost arena. The obstacles are also explored in-detail, as are the markets where low-cost Android smartphones will dominate.
Forecasts include:

Smartphone shipments
Android smartphone shipments
Low-cost Android smartphone shipments by region
Bill of materials (BOM) for processor, touchscreen, other components
Country-by-country view of the smartphone market
About In-Stat
In-Stat’s market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions. Technology vendors, equipment manufacturers, service providers and media companies worldwide rely on In-Stat to support critical business, product and technology decisions. For more information, contact us or visit www.in-stat.com.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit www.npd.com and www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter at @npdtech and @npdgroup.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On the heals of Apple’s record breaking weekend of a reported 4 million iPhone 4Ses sold, Verizon and Motorola today revived the RAZR name and brought it to the Android 2.3.5, Gingerbread, powered device. Don’t let the name fool you, unlike its predecessor, this does not look razor thin but thankfully Motorola didn’t slice out features as this is packed with them. Putting an HD camera both in the front and rear, 8-megapixel on its backside, 1 GB or RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot ready, and an 1780 mAh battery for longer life, the Droid RAZR is impressive. Lack luster is the storage with only 16 GB internal and expandable via the microSD to another 16 GB makes the fractured storage less desirable than that of the iPhone 4S internal one-stop storage.

Get the full details below for more information on this $299 device that Motorola hopes to challenge the iPhone 4S with this Christmas.

View Press Release »

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Today, Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) and Verizon Wireless announced DROID RAZR™ by Motorola, the world’s thinnest 4G LTE smartphone. A true marvel of design, this smartphone packs strength and smarts into a stylish package offered exclusively from Verizon Wireless.

Measuring 7.1 mm thin, made with KEVLAR® fiber for strength and Corning® Gorilla® Glass for scratch resistance, the DROID RAZR is ready to face the elements. Speed limits are just an illusion with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Verizon Wireless 4G LTE. DROID RAZR customers can expect to rip through the Web with speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G.

“DROID RAZR by Motorola combines style, performance and the power of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network into one innovative device,” said Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “These are two iconic brands that separately symbolize the best technology available today. The combination will provide an unsurpassed wireless experience for customers.”

“DROID RAZR by Motorola is a testament to the innovation and design possibilities that stem from a strong partnership between Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless,” said Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Mobility. “We set out to design the best smartphone on the planet and delivered DROID RAZR which is thinner, smarter, stronger than any device on the market.”

Not only does DROID RAZR by Motorola deliver heart-pounding speed, but it has a mind-bending 4.3-inch hyper-vibrant display with more colors than most LCD HDTVs. The Super AMOLED™ Advanced display with qHD resolution dishes out beautiful images and smooth action so on-the-go movies and TV shows aren’t a blur, whether customers stream from Netflix™ or rent from Android Market™. It’s the first smartphone capable of streaming movies and TV shows through Netflix with up to HD resolution.

DROID RAZR customers can take advantage of the Super AMOLED Advanced display and 4G LTE speeds to stream videos with NFL Mobile, only from Verizon. Fans can stay up to date on news, schedules and scores from their favorite teams on the go. NFL Mobile is included at no additional charge for 4G LTE customers for the remainder of the 2011 season.

If cutting-edge visuals are its beauty, apps on DROID RAZR are its brains. Enter MotoCast™, the free Motorola app that lets you stream or download your music, pictures and more from your PC to your phone. The Smart Actions app helps automate everyday tasks and optimizes battery efficiency by letting customers create rules, such as automatically setting the phone to vibrate during work hours or dimming the display at a specific battery level. The revolutionary webtop application allows customers to combine the device with separately sold accessories, like the Lapdock™ 100 or HD Station, unleashing the power to edit documents and browse the Web with a full Firefox® browser on a larger screen – all while charging the device.

Additional features:
· Powered by Android™ 2.3.5, Gingerbread
· 1 GB RAM for a fast user interface and multi-tasking
· 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p HD video capture and image stabilization technology for crisp and clear videos
· Front-facing HD camera for video chat over 4G LTE, 3G or Wi-Fi
· 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capable so customers can share 4G LTE speed with up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices
· Water repellent nanocoating protects the phone, and even the inside components, against everyday spills
· Remote wipe, pin lock and government-grade encryption for email, calendar and contacts as well as voice and video chat conferencing
· Use Quickoffice® to view, create and edit Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on your mobile device from anywhere at anytime
· Bluetooth 4.0 low energy
· 32 GB memory: 16 GB on board and 16 GB microSD™ card pre-installed (actual formatted capacity is less)
· Powerful 1780 mAh battery

The DROID RAZR will be available in early November for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at: www.verizonwireless.com; as well as at authorized retailers. Customers can visit www.droiddoes.com/droidrazr to pre-order DROID RAZR beginning on October 27. For more information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people’s lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit motorola.com/mobility.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC. DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. Android Market is a trademark of Google, Inc. KEVLAR(R) is a registered trademark of DuPont used under license by Motorola Mobility, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2011 Motorola Mobility, Inc. All rights reserved.

Smartphones are quickly becoming the phone in everyone’s pocket and purse and with that comes the availability of music, GPS, and other aids for you to use while on the road. Car mount kits are very popular but finding a good one is much tougher. Every one I have used with the long goose necks never give me a steady way to hold my iPhone and many other cradles seem to make things more complex with too many elbows to tighten down. Today Bracketron releases the Cradle-iT Dash Mount that not only locks down your iPhone but does it for Blackberry and Android devices as well. The universal mount will either mount to your dash or windshield without the need for tools or surface mounts. This makes it perfect for using between more than one vehicle and its small sized easily lets you travel with it in a purse or bag as well as for allowing for easy storage in today’s modern tiny glove box. For $30, this isn’t a bad deal at all, though I wished it had a dock connector port. More deets below.

View Press Release »

Minneapolis, MN – October 17, 2011– Bracketron, the leading manufacturer in mounting solutions for mobile consumer electronics, announces the retail availability of the Cradle-iT Dash Mount, a powerful suction mount that uses patented technology to secure your mobile device in a safe and convenient position on your vehicle’s dashboard. The Cradle-iT mounts your mobile device with or without a case, and easily pivots and rotates to maximize your viewing angle. The mount offers 360-degree adjustability and can be easily switched between vehicles or even used on your office desk and other flat surfaces. The Cradle-iT Dash Mount is available now for $29.95 at national retailers and Bracketron.com.

“The Cradle-iT Dash Mount is an extremely versatile universal mount for handheld mobile devices,” said Mark Mandel, Executive Vice President of Bracketron. “This innovative product is one of many Bracketron mounts that help drivers to responsibly use their mobile devices in their vehicles, ensuring that GPS applications can be viewed at an optimized angle and the device is in a secure position.”

The Cradle-iT Dash Mount’s innovative design consists of three main parts including a powerful suction cup, an arm with a ball and socket joint, and a flexible cradle holder. The suction cup features a polyurethane ring with Bracketron’s groundbreaking, patented Temporbond technology. This adhesive-free grip technology provides the ultimate hold without leaving a sticky residue. The suction cup also features a lever that is pushed to install the mount and pulled up to remove it. The combined technologies of the suction cup result in an unbelievably strong grip, while Temporbond also allows you to mount the suction cup to almost any surface whether it is smooth or textured.

The arm of the Cradle-iT mount includes a ball and socket joint that allows for 360-degree rotation of the cradle holder, letting you to maximize your viewing angle for complete comfort and ease. The holder was designed to fit most handheld smartphones so that device controls are easily accessible. Its universal design is compatible with iPhone®, Blackberry, Android and more. Different handheld mobile devices can easily be switched in and out of the universal holder, providing incredible flexibility. Installation takes seconds and requires no tools. The mount is also compact and fits easily in a bag, glove compartment or purse when not in use.


• Unique cradle design securely grips your device, with or without a case
• Innovative design features a patented polyurethane ring for secure hold
• Mounts to most hard or textured surfaces, including your windshield
• Cradle design allows full access to all device controls
• Pivots and rotates for multiple viewing angles
• Portable design for easy installation and removal
• Fits most handheld smartphones

About Bracketron
Founded in 2001, Bracketron is the industry leader in universal mounting solutions and accessories for many of today’s most popular mobile and handheld technologies, including GPS, smartphone, iPad/tablet, MP3, satellite radio and PC. Bracketron offers a broad selection of mounting configuration options designed to offer an optimal level of flexibility and functionality. The company has broadened its product line to include a variety of flexible mounting options designed to extend the use of the device and enhance the overall user experience.

For more information about Bracketron, visit www.bracketron.com.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New from the Quirky community comes Ray, a silicone suction cup charger that can attach itself to a window in the direction of the sun or stand up via it’s kick stand. Ray rejuvenates his internal battery to which your USB connected device can suck power from Ray to charge itself. So, instead of waiting for hours for the sun charge your electronic gadget like some other solar powered chargers, you will quickly get power from Ray. Leave Ray in the direction of the sun and come back later to top yourself off. Pretty stinking cool if you ask me! Ray is available for presale in Quirky’s online store for $39.99 (MSRP: $49.99). Get full deets below in the press release.

View Press Release »

New York, NY — October 4, 2011 — Today marks the official release of Ray, a community developed solar powered charger for gadgets on the go.

Never go powerless again with Quirky’s new portable charging device. Simply stick Ray’s powerful silicone suction cup in the sun’s direction or use its tilting kickstand on flat surfaces in multiple positions to capture the maximum amount of sunlight. Electronic devices can be plugged into the easily accessible USB port. Ray’s compact battery stores enough energy for a full phone charge, and the LED indicator light keeps you appraised of its status. When you are through getting juiced, simply tuck your USB cords into the kickstand when closed.

Ray is the 137th product designed and developed by the Quirky community since Quirky’s launch on June 2, 2009. Ray is the dream of Quirky community member of Brandon Craven, from Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania and was brought to life on quirky.com with the help of 988 influencers.

Quirky makes invention accessible by partnering with creative people around the world to bring new products to life. This week ends the development phase of Ray, and it is now available for presale in Quirky’s online store for $39.99 (MSRP: $49.99).

You might remember other successful Quirky products including Space Bar, a USB shelf for your computer screen; Pivot Power, a flexible power strip; and the PowerCurl, a cord wrap for Apple’s MagSafe power adapter.

Quirky engages participants to collaborate in every aspect of product creation — from ideation, design, naming, manufacturing, marketing, right on through to sales. Anyone can participate on Quirky.com either by submitting their own product idea for $10, or by voting, rating, and influencing other people’s product ideas. Cooler still, 30¢ of every dollar generated from the direct sale of a Quirky product goes back to these influencers.

Every week, users post ideas on Quirky to be rated by the Quirky community. The community surveys the submissions during a seven-day evaluation period and selects one product to move forward into product development. Quirky’s community then begins weighing in on everything from naming to logo selection to packaging through to prototype.

The final product becomes available for presale in the Quirky online store (quirky.com/products). Once the product hits its presale threshold, credit cards are charged, and the product goes into production and delivery. At this point, 30¢ of every dollar made from the sale of these products goes back to the community. “Community” in this case covers both the ideator as well as all people who voted, commented, and rated the project idea along the way.

The news around Twitter and Facebook is the new iPhone from Apple. Apple’s newly crowned CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage at 4 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, for his first Stevenote, er, Keynote. Cook quickly passed the presentation off to familar Apple faces to essentially drag through a complete recap of iOS 5s features shown off four months ago. Reporters grew weary 20 minutes into the WWDC rehash and began playing Angry Birds. In the course of nearly an hour, Apple only disclosed three new items in conversation! If this is what we can expect of future Apple Keynotes, the Jobs Era of slick presentation has already vanished.

Finally, at 55 minutes, the iPhone 4S was revealed. Nothing changed on the outside – no teardrop case like earlier “leaks” reported – but rather under the hood is were the real stuff was. At the heart of the iPhone 4S is the same processor that runs the iPad 2, the dual-core A5. Also sharing components with its big brother is the graphics processing which is told be 7 times faster, though the demo didn’t really seem to indicate this. The antenna has been completely reworked to include not one but two which the iPhone 4S can use both or one or the other for optimal signal. It also uses the new system for premium bandwidth. In fact, Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, made a jab at the competition and its 4G speeds pointing out the iPhone 4S 3G speeds equaled that of the LTE phones. Mmm, we’ll see about that, Philly, remember, we’re mostly using AT&T. Additionally, the new 8-megapixel camera was shown off along with the claim of faster access with the ability to take the first picture in 1.1 second. With new infrared and back light technology, this aims to be the best camera on a phone yet with its extreme low light and improved white balance features. The camera will also record 1080p HD video catching up to many Android devices which have been able to make this claim for nearly a year.

The big announcement, the One More Thing if you will, was the fact that the phone will now work at your command. No, not that Voice Command feature we all forgot about, but true voice instructions using the technology of Siri which Apple purchased last year. Siri will do amazing things like tell you the current weather conditions by just asking, “What’s the weather like?” as well as read your incoming SMS and then respond to it with your voice-to-text copy. You can tell it, “Wake me up tomorrow at 8 am” and it will create the alarm for you. Send email, search for a place to eat, add calendar events – to which it will even respond if you have a conflict – and many other features. This is the game changer, as Apple put it, for the iPhone 4S. Because all the text-to-speech and vice versa is happening on the phone and not on the Internet like the original Siri, it requires the power of the A5 chip and thus this iOS 5 feature is only for the iPhone 4S.

On the surface, these features do not sound all that great. Essentially, it’s a tuned up iPhone 4. Additionally, it’s pretty much what everyone expected, no real surprises like past models. In truth, all this iPhone does is catch it up with most Android phones. Google has had text-to-speech for nearly a year on its operating system and HD video is old shoe. Schiller can claim similar speeds with the 3G equipped iPhone 4S but truth is, LTE blows the doors off of AT&Ts network and Verizon’s older EV-DO. In fact, AT&T ignores equipment investment as proof of the many EDGE towers found easily a few miles off of California Highway 99 in the Central Valley at nearly every exit outside of large cities like Stockton or Sacramento. I think Apple is setting itself up for some uproar by neglecting LTE. This will only further Android’s dominance for another year while we await the LTE iPhone.

Now, that said, here is the if of all of this, and it’s a BIG if. If Apple has genuinely pulled off Siri without a hitch, this could blast the iPhone past any Android. With the ability to add calendar events, have SMS conversations, send and receive email, and buy movie tickets, all hands-free in your vehicle, this would make Siri the killer-feature. Now, of course, there’s that IF. While Siri performed well in the quiet auditorium of Apple’s theater, my noisy F-250 cab is a whole different story. I long ago stopped using Voice Command because of it. Even cars with better cabin noise control can struggle with voice and it will be mighty interesting to see if Apple over came this issue.

Now, if Siri turns out to be a dud and unusable in the real world and those Schiller claimed broadband speeds never really happen, then you have just another iPhone 4 with an extra letter. Google will continue to make further inroads with Android and widen the lead over the iPhone reminding many of us of the Windows vs Macintosh days of the late 80s. Interesting enough, that decline came soon after Steve Jobs left Apple the first time. Will history repeat itself?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

While HTC has been in the news of late concerning Apple and its thinking HTC devices are a bit too much like an iPhone. Well, HTC revealed its Rhyme today in New York City showing off how very un-iPhone it is. Let’s see, the plumb color definitely isn’t iPhone. Uh, the Charm – “an innovative approach for discretely alerting you to incoming calls or messages while the HTC Rhyme is deep in your bag” – can’t be found near an Apple Store. Ya, the Sports Armband is something you can get from someone else but HTC gives your Rhyme the time with its own way to help you stay in shape. All in all, this HTC is a pretty sweet Android-driven smartphone that will excite many people when put on sale this September 29th for $199.

Need more convincing? Read the press release below.

View Press Release »

NEW YORK CITY – September 20, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of mobile devices, today unveiled HTC Rhyme™, a new kind of phone created for people who require advanced features but want a phone that is sleek and fits seamlessly into their lives. The result is the elegant HTC Rhyme that delivers a fresh approach of integrating distinct colors, HTC Sense™ and complementary accessories for a natural personal experience.

“HTC Rhyme represents an entirely new approach, based on recognition that there is a substantial group of consumers who want their phones to be more personal and complimentary to every moment of their day,” said Scott Croyle, vice president of design, HTC Corporation. “HTC Rhyme is focused on delivering this through a fresh new style and experience that includes a family of innovative accessories like the HTC Rhyme Charm and Docking Station that are meant to naturally integrate into people’s lives.”

Sleek, Fresh and Stylish
HTC Rhyme offers a smart, elegant unibody design with every detail carefully crafted to deliver a unique sensory experience. The materials, the curves, and the dimensions are all designed to feel great in your hand, without sacrificing advanced features. HTC Rhyme comes in three colors: Clearwater, Hourglass and Plum, the color Verizon Wireless will be offering in the U.S.

“The HTC Rhyme is an exciting new approach to the mobile lifestyle that integrates hardware, software and accessories in a unique way,” said Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “We believe this clean, intuitive experience and signature design is a testament to HTC’s ability to interpret what customers have said they want in a mobile device. We are thrilled to offer the HTC Rhyme exclusively on the nation’s largest, most reliable network.”

HTC Sense
HTC Rhyme is not only defined by its soft, simple design and distinct color scheme but by the refreshed HTC Sense experience. This unique twist on HTC Sense carries over the visual language of the hardware design and includes an all-new home screen that provides a clean and uncluttered way to interact with the essentials. The home screen enables quick, uncluttered previews of your appointments, messages or whatever is important to you. HTC selected custom wallpapers to offer a variety of original art to complement the HTC Rhyme experience.

With a beautiful 3.7-inch WVGA, super LCD display and high-quality stereo sound, HTC Rhyme also offers advanced imaging capabilities that begin with its 5-megapixel camera that includes auto focus, power LED flash and instant shutter for capturing those memorable moments whenever they arrive. In addition, the camera features a number of photo-taking and sharing elements, including face detection, which ensures that friends are always in focus, action burst scene, which automatically takes five consecutive shots of a scene, and panoramic mode, which lets users stitch several photos for those larger-than-life views. The HTC Rhyme’s locked home screen can be customized to display the most important content, making it quick and easy to see social updates, photos, snapping a photo or the weather forecast by simply turning on the display.

HTC Rhyme makes entertainment come to life through HTC Watch, which features a wide selection of movies and TV shows that can be downloaded for instant viewing.

Integrated Accessories
HTC Rhyme’s suite of accessories is designed with the same sensory focus in both function and style. Created to help you experience HTC Rhyme as a natural part of your life, the integrated accessories make your phone more personal than ever before.

· HTC Rhyme Docking Station – The Docking Station simultaneously recharges the phone while turning the Rhyme into an alarm clock and music center so you can wake to your favorite songs played directly from the built-in Bluetooth capable speakers.
· HTC Rhyme Charm – The Charm is an innovative approach for discretely alerting you to incoming calls or messages while the HTC Rhyme is deep in your bag. The Charm is a small light-emitting cube that attaches to the phone by a cord that can dangle from your bag and also be used to quickly pull the phone out of your bag. It also makes it easy to find your phone buried in your cluttered purse or backpack.
· HTC Rhyme Sports Armband – The Sports Armband allows you to work out in style while keeping your apps and music close to you.
· HTC Rhyme Tangle Free Headphones – The Tangle Free Headphones take the hassle out of listening to your favorite music.
· HTC Rhyme Bluetooth® Headset – The wireless headset follows the same design cues as the phone itself and enables for easy hands free use.
· HTC Rhyme Bluetooth® Car Speaker – The wireless speaker clips onto sun visor in your car for easy and safe driving.

HTC Rhyme will be available in the coming weeks in the United States, exclusively with Verizon Wireless, and across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific in October. In the U.S., the Docking Station, Tangle Free Headphones and Charm will be included in the box.

About HTC
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative devices that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

If you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to scan barcodes and you have a smartphone or iPad, then you’ll want to give the KoamTac sled a look over. Made for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry (did we forget that in the heading?), the KDC400 supports both 1D and 2D barcodes as well as triple and Japan dual header MSR. If you know what all this means, then you’ll want to read the press release for the full 411.

View Press Release »

Princeton, NJ, September 20, 2011 – KoamTac, Inc. announced today the release of the KDC400 product suite of Barcode and MSR sleds for Smartphones and Pads. The KDC400 Barcode and MSR base system with custom rugged cases for Smartphones and Pads provide the most powerful and cost effective industrial PDA and tablet solution.

“Traditional industrial PDA and tablets reply on old operating systems and seem unable to catch up with the latest mobile OS revolutions such as the Google Android, RIM Blackberry, Apple iPhone iOS and Microsoft Windows. Many users are very frustrated using expensive but slow traditional industrial PDA and tablets at work, while enjoying inexpensive but fast Smartphones and Pads in their personal daily lives”, said Dr. Hanjin Lee, CEO and founder of KoamTac, Inc. “KDC400 supports virtually all major Smartphones and Pads in the market, thereby reducing support and maintenance issues for mixed estates of mobile devices. We are proud to offer the only universal barcode and MSR sled in the market enabling customers to protect their investment in KDC400. Users can change their Smartphone by simply replacing the custom Smartphone case without modifying the Barcode and MSR base system. We believe this is a strong endorsement of flexibility and functionality of KoamTac’s offerings.”

KDC400 supports both 1D and 2D barcodes as well as triple and Japan dual header MSR. KDC410 is 1D Barcode sled, KDC415 is 1D and MSR sled, KDC420 is 2D Barcode sled, KDC425 is 2D and MSR sled and KDC430 is MSR sled. Samsung Galaxy SII and Apple iPhone4 cases are now available and more custom Smartphone and Pads cases will be available in the future.

KDC100/200/250/300 Bluetooth barcode scanners are designed specifically for use with Smart Phones and Pads. KoamTac’s KDC series offers enterprises the opportunity to add professional barcode scanning to their mobile workers’ handset of choice in many industries including: transportation, field service, retail and healthcare. Given its ultra small size and light weight, many customers attach the KDC unit to their body using our convenient retractable lanyard. An optional glove with a built-in trigger button provides the lightest and the most economical wearable barcode scanning configuration. Custom Smartphone cases for KDC400 would be also available for KDC100/200/250/300 models.

About KoamTac, Inc.

KoamTac is the Innovator of the KDC Data Companion for adding Professional Barcode Scanning and Magnetic Stripe Reading to Smartphones & Pads. KoamTac’s products are the world’s smallest and lightest barcode terminals and universal sled on the market supporting 1D/2D barcodes, Triple and Japan dual header MSR, V2.1+EDR Class 2 Bluetooth, 1″ OLED display, rechargeable battery, and 4MB of memory for storing 100,000+ product records in traditional batch data collection applications. Bundled KTSync® keyboard wedge and application generation software enables barcode scanning integration without modification to most line-of-business applications. For additional information, contact us at www.koamtac.com.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hey Android users, you now get to control your Sonos music center via your phone! Trust me, you’ll love it and wonder how you lived without it. :) Jump over to www.sonos.com/android to get more deets and how to download the free app to your phone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Navigon MobileNavigator iPad

“I can hear you know,” so says the Verizon guy with those black glasses on his new iPhone. Millions today will have the CDMA version of the worlds most popular smartphone and to celebrate – for all makes and models of smartphones – Navigon is slashing its prices by 50% on it’s award winning MobileNavigator. SvenOnTech reviewed it last year and we’ve seen it continues to improve with each passing update. With such a heavy discount, we feel you would be silly not to purchase this robust and beautiful GPS application for your iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile phone. For those new to Navigon, or if you’re just interested in what’s new, take a look at its press release below.

Press Release
NAVIGON AG, a leading provider of mobile phone on-board navigation, today announced it has now over two million smartphone navigation app users worldwide. In celebration of the important milestone, NAVIGON reduces the price on each version of MobileNavigator Android, iPhone and WindowsMobile by 50 percent for four days. A regional iPhone US version starts at $14.99. Current users can take advantage of the promotion with prices for In App Purchases Traffic Live, Panorama View 3D and Zagat Survey for MobileNavigator iPhone 25 percent off. MobileNavigator turns smartphones and tablets into navigation solutions that work like standalone units.

“Our two million users clearly show that premium navigation apps for smartphones are in high demand. Consumers realize the benefits of a premium on-board navigation app like MobileNavigator with all its dedicated driving features, such as traffic rerouting, lane and speed guidance 3D views and more,” said Gerhard Mayr, vice-president worldwide mobile phone business, NAVIGON. “Our 50 percent off promotion is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of all these features at a very attractive price, especially for all the new Verizon iPhone customers.” A benefit of NAVIGON’s on-board navigation app on the Verizon network is that it allows users to still receive directions while on the phone, since a data connection is not necessary. NAVIGON MobileNavigator carries the complete map material within the phone. The app relies on the GPS receiver, independent from a cell or wireless signal, providing directions and recalculations even when no cell phone signal is available.

NAVIGON MobileNavigator is available for Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and WindowsMobile smartphones. The Android version features an industry- first Reality Scanner function that projects points of interest icons directly onto a camera view, helping to find POI’s nearby. NAVIGON MobileNavigator* for iOS is the first universal navigation app of a major GPS company that runs natively on the iPhone and the iPad. Users with MobileNavigator installed can use the app on both devices without extra charges. It utilizes the iPad’s large display and user interface with a higher resolution, and new menus. Route planning is convenient on the iPad, showing a large scrollable, multi-touch map to select destinations in simple taps.

Pricing and Availability
MobileNavigator North America: $59.99 (on sale for $29.99)
MobileNavigator USA: $49.99 (on sale for 24.99)
MobileNavigator Canada: $59.99 (on sale for $29.99)
MobileNavigator US MyRegion East, Central or West: $14.99, additional regions $10.99 (first region on sale for $24.99, additional maps for $12.99)

In App Purchases
Panorama View 3D: $9.99 (on sale for $6.99)
Traffic Live: $19.99: (on sale for $14.99)
Zagat Survey Ratings and Reviews: $7.99 (on sale for $5.99)
MobileNavigator USA: $59.99 (on sale for $29.95)